What a relic. Erica Jong on motherhood:
Mother and father are presumed to be able to do this alone—without the village it takes to raise any child. Add to this the dictates of “green” parenting—homemade baby food, cloth diapers, a cocoon of clockless, unscheduled time—and you have our new ideal. Anything less is bad for baby. Parents be damned…
Attachment parenting, especially when combined with environmental correctness, has encouraged female victimization. Women feel not only that they must be ever-present for their children but also that they must breast-feed, make their own baby food and eschew disposable diapers. It’s a prison for mothers, and it represents as much of a backlash against women’s freedom as the right-to-life movement.
Cooperative child-rearing is obviously convenient, but some anthropologists believe that it also serves another more important function: Multiple caregivers enhance the cognitive skills of babies and young children. Any family in which there are parents, grandparents, nannies and other concerned adults understands how readily children adapt to different caregivers.
My own observations as being a child of baby boomers, married to a child of baby boomers, and most of my friends are children of baby boomers: they make the suckiest grandparents I’ve ever seen. This attitude of parents needing help is completely lost on them. Many of us were practically raised exclusively by our own grandparents while they pursued their lives, and in turn can’t be bothered with their grandchildren because they “did their time”. I understand 55 no longer represents grey hair in buns, granny boots, and baking cookies with love for the grandchildren, but is the cookie baking part all that bad?
I am a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, homemade-baby-food making, co-sleeping, home schooling, “green” Mama. I really don’t take any issue with parents who makes different choices. The more kids I have, the more I understand there is no one-size-fits-all parenting style for every individual or every child for that matter. Or every stage of life. I truthfully don’t bat an eye at mothers who choose differently and say they are doing the best they can with what they have. Amen, Sistah because in the end what the kids need most is love, attention, moral structure and health. We can’t give that if we don’t got it. Erica Jong’s tirade isn’t that. It’s simply angry, vicious anti-life diatribe disguised as a calling for parents to take care of themselves…or something. I don’t even know.
Whatever. As Jeff Culbreath would say, she’s “jumped the shark”.